This is the free version of our weekly newsletter. The premium version has 14 excellent recommendations, on top of these, of what to watch at festivals, virtual cinemas, VOD, and via streaming. We also spotlight several virtual film festivals worth catching worldwide, featuring films we love that have yet to secure distribution (so this may be your only chance to see them!).
In our premium newsletter for members this week, we recommend more virtual film festival screenings, plus additional VOD, virtual cinema, and streaming recommendations. If you become a member now, shoot us an email, and we'll be happy to send you these recommendations, too!
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The Gimli film festival in Canada is screening several festival favourites worldwide, including Daughter of a Lost Bird and Everything in the End. Neither film has a distributor so this is an excellent opportunity to catch them.
We also recommend catching Pride while it's on iPlayer (and streaming elsewhere). And a TIFF2019 favourite, Lina from Lima is finally streaming in the US and Australia!
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Virtual film festivals
Gimli Film Fest
Daughter of a Lost Bird - July 19-22 - worldwide
One of the highlights of HotDocs and among the best films to world premiere in 2021, don't miss your chance to see Daughter of a Lost Bird.
Here's an excerpt from Orla's review:
Daughter of a Lost Bird opens on Kendra, a young woman in her thirties, sitting on her floor as she nervously makes an important phone call. She leaves a message: “Hi April, this is Kendra Potter, your birth daughter.” Shortly after, April calls back, and mother and daughter hear each other’s voices for the first time.
Documentarian Brooke Swaney tracks Kendra’s journey over several years as Kendra reconnects with her long-lost family and her indigeneity. Swaney is careful to contextualise Kendra’s identity crisis within the traumatic history of adoption in Indigenous communities in the US. As a result of the Indian Child Welfare Act, both Kendra and her mother were adopted out of their birth families, separating them from their Indigenous communities by two generations.
Kendra goes through a huge and emotional journey in the film, from the excitement of meeting her birth mother, to the mixed feelings of meeting the Lummi community to whom she belongs, to her growing anger about how colonial violence has shaped her life. Kendra grew up with white adoptive parents whom she loves, she’s white passing, and she has a happy life in the city with her husband and young daughter. She’s torn about whether she wants to embrace her community, in case it means giving up the identity she’s so comfortable in. At the same time, we watch her come to terms with the fact that she’s a textbook example of assimilation, which causes her a lot of hurt and rage.
Read the full review.
Click here for tickets worldwide.
Everything in the End - July 19-22 - worldwide
One of the best films to world premiere in 2021, and still seeking distribution, don't miss your chance to catch it.
Here's an excerpt from Orla's intro to her interview with the director Mylissa Fitzsimmons:
At Sundance in January, two films premiered that eerily predicted the pandemic, despite being shot before the pandemic: The Dog Who Wouldn’t be Quiet
andThe Pink Cloud
. Now, joining their ranks is Mylissa Fitzsimmons’s contemplative feature debut, Everything in the End
, although its echoes of the pandemic are more spiritual than literal. Fitzsimmons drops us in rural Iceland, by the sea, where a young Portugese man named Paulo (Hugo de Sousa) wanders alone through the gorgeous landscape. He’s on a trip that he and his mother were meant to take together, but after her passing, he’s come alone. Paulo, who is quiet and withdrawn, is often framed as a lone figure dwarfed by a majestic landscape. There’s an emotional and physical distance that exists between him and everyone around him. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, Everything in the End feels healing to watch during a pandemic, rather than depressing, because we watch Paulo do what we are all longing to do: make connections with other people. The film is structured around a series of conversations Paulo has with people he meets in the surrounding area, many of them strangers. Paulo and the strangers pour their hearts out to each other. They talk about life, death, regret, and what might have been. Slowly, as a viewer, we start to realise that something surreal is going on.
Despite its low-key, conversational nature, Everything in the End is actually a high-concept film about the end of the world. Paulo’s trip happens to coincide with an impending apocalypse. Yet Fitzsimmons isn’t too concerned about the details of how and why and when the world is going to end. We never see a news report or footage of panicked citizens in big cities. In the confined bubble of rural Iceland, the apocalypse is a hazy backdrop to Paulo’s personal grieving process, for his mother and for the world. The five strangers he meets each represent a different stage of the grieving process, each bringing him closer and closer to acceptance.
Read the full interview.
Click here for tickets worldwide.
New to streaming
Lina de Lima - HBO Max US, SBS Movies AU
This highlight of TIFF19 is now available to see!
Here's Orla on the film:
In the opening scenes of María Paz González’s Lina from Lima, the rhythms of everyday life feel almost musical. Quietly, Lina (Magaly Solier), a Peruvian immigrant working as a housekeeper in Chile, goes about her daily life. The noise of Lina’s world are pronounced in the sound mix: A bus trundling along the road; Lina rifling through boxes in her clients home; shoppers walking and chatting in the store. It’s as if Lina is listening for musicality in the mundane. It only makes sense, then, that the film is a musical.
Though Lina from Lima is largely a realist drama, occasionally, Lina’s drab world will explode into flamboyant song and dance. These sequences are over-the-top and fun, as if out of a film much soapier than the one we’re watching, but while they’re fun to experience as they are for Lina, there’s something sad about their fakery. This is Lina’s coping mechanism for the injustice and boredom of real life These sequences are a manifestation of Lina’s daydreams, where life is grand and melodramatic, when really it’s just disappointing. In contrast, the rest of the film lacks any non-diegetic music and the colours are flatter, clearly demarcating Lina’s real and dream world.
Read Orla's interview with the director here.
Pride - BBC iPlayer UK, Prime US, SBS Movies AU, VOD in Canada and elsewhere
Emily Garside's pick for one of the Films for the Future in the 100th episode of the Seventh Row podcast, Pride tells a forgotten part of British history and is the story of the power of allyship.
Here's an excerpt from my review:
Sentimental without being drippy, rollicking and rousing without being over-the-top, Pride (directed by Matthew Warchus) is the epitome of a feel good movie. With its bopping soundtrack of 1980s pop hits, sweeping camera, and bright colours – there’s even a fabulous dance number – the film remains buoyant throughout even as it tackles tough issues and hard times. Based on actual events, Pride tells the story of a group of London gay and lesbian activists who, in the middle of the 1984 UK miner’s strike, banded together – calling themselves Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (L.G.S.M.) – to raise funds, in buckets on street-corners, to support the striking miners.
Rather than donating to the miner’s union, L.G.S.M. decides to give the money they raise directly to the miners by picking a town in need at random. That lucky town is Onllwyn in southern Wales, and L.G.S.M. manages to be their largest supporters, garnering them an invitation to be guests of the town. They roll into town in a red-and-orange VW van, with “Out Loud Theatre Group” scrawled on it, and they’re a breath of fresh air in a town that’s beginning to lose hope. And meeting the townspeople energizes L.G.S.M. to redouble their efforts: they’ve helped, but they haven’t helped enough.
Read the full review.
Listen to Dr. Emily Garside on the film here.
In episode 57 of the podcast, we actually talked in depth about Pride and how it fits into the tradition of the British revolution period drama (alongside Suffragette and Misbehaviour).
This is now only available to members.
Become a Film Adventurer Member today, and listen to all 100 episodes of the Seventh Row podcast!
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Alex Heeney, Editor-in-Chief
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